Writing Can Be Murder

October 19, 2006

Can a first person thriller work?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 1:08 pm

I’m not a big fan of first person (though it’s sometimes done well in chick lit type stories) and I’d never read a thriller in first person before.

I may never read one again. I just read a book that I received at the NJRW conference and I decided to “broaden my horizons”and read something I normally wouldn’t read.  I read it. I HATED it.

 I’m not sure if I would have disliked the book quite so much if it hadn’t been in first person. I disliked the “heroine” (it’s a word I use loosely in this case) so much that it was difficult to finish the book. (In keeping with the book, I thought the ending was AWFUL!)

 I’m not going to name the book (bad karma to go bashing other authors, right?) so don’t even ask.

 The question I want to ask you is: can first person work in a thriller? And as a general rule, how do you feel about first person?

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Excerpt from Nowhere to Hide www.jenniferelbaum.com

With  trembling  fingers  she  lifted  the  jeans  up  and  clutched  them  to  her  chest.  Her  heart  pounded  in  her  ears  and  she  closed  her  eyes.  She  knew  this  was  wrong,  but  there  was  no  other  way.  No  other  way  to  save  him.  She  turned  to  creep  out  of  the  room  and  a  man’s  chest  entered  her  field  of  vision.  A  wet  chest.  She  would  have  screamed  if  Wolf  hadnʹt  clapped  a  hand  over  her  mouth.    ʺGoing  somewhere?ʺ he  hissed,  his  eyes  dark  with  fury.  His  head  covered  with  shampoo  suds,  his  body  with  nothing.  Instinctively,  Alex  backed  away,  bumping  into  the  cool  tiled  wall.   He  followed,  pinning  her  there  with  a  heavy  hand  on  her  shoulder.     

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1 Comment »

  1. Hmmm…I’ve been thinking about this all day and I had a thought. A thriller told in first person could work if it was told from THE KILLER’S perspective. Now I’ve totally creeped myself out….

    Comment by jenniferelbaum — October 19, 2006 @ 9:38 pm


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